Central African Republic: war prevents food from reaching hungry - National Global Hunger
Armed groups in the Central African Republic continue to wage war. United Nations peacekeeping soldiers have even come under attack. A recent ambush in the capital Bangui claimed the life of one Pakistani UN peacekeeper.
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) says they have stopped distributions of aid because of the escalating violence. WFP spokesperson Donaig Ledu says they have been on lockdown for a week.
WFP plans to feed over one million people in the Central African Republic. The country has stood on the brink of famine all year because of the war. Only humanitarian aid has prevented mass starvation. Yet, humanitarian aid convoys have come under attack. Melissa Fleming, the UN Refugee Agency spokesperson, says,
"The recent episode of unrest in Bangui represents a disturbing trend of attacks on humanitarian workers who are trying to access and assist displaced populations in Bangui and its suburbs. We are, once again, calling on all parties involved in the conflict to respect humanitarian work and allow unhindered humanitarian access to relief agencies working to support thousands of displaced people in desperate need."
A population in dire need is now unable to receive life-saving food. The United Nations is calling on the warring parties to implement a peace agreement. The armed groups should lay down their weapons.
The violence is the biggest obstacle for WFP to deliver aid in the Central African Republic. However, WFP also needs to secure enough funding so it has supplies to distribute. The UN food agency relies on voluntary donations.
Those who suffer the most from the violence are small children. If they are denied food for a prolonged period, they will suffer lasting physical and mental damage, or death, from malnutrition.